the minimal bike corral

I have an idea of the bikes I want.

Well, I really want a steel bike that can ride fixed or geared. I would likely leave it fixed most of the time.

Well, what I am saying is that I would like a fixed gear bicycle. One in a road geometry. Or cyclocross.

Then I would want a mountain bike. And frankly, if that mountain bike could take 3 inch tires it could do all the snow.

So now that means a surly crosscheck as one bike and a troll/ogre/karate monkey. And just be done with it.

The other thing I want is well, what do I have and what can I do with what I have?

Now I also have a fat bike.
I have a fixed gear sole that my friend gave to me.
I have a fixed gear track bike that I bought.
I have a raleigh grand sports that I am fixing up.
I have a specialized rockhopper mountain bike that I bought.
I have a diamond back rigid mountain bike singlespeed.

Now for the other bikes
There is a specialized frame that is too small for my wife.
There is a bridgestone kabuki which is really cool and too small.

For reasonable weather (above 20F) I think two bikes would be a good compromise. A road style bike for the good weather and summer. And a mountain bike style bike for the crud in the winter.

You could expand from this framework or tweak it. For example: a road style bike could be a full on race bike, a fixed gear bike, a cyclocross bike, or even a touring bike. These would depend on your needs: go fast, extremely low maintenance, a little off road ability and versatility, or ultimate in hauling ability. For the mountain bike it could range from a proper fat bike with 26x4+ tires, a 29er, or even a 26inch steel hardtail. This could be riding in mostly fresh snow, taking the trade-off of lots of fresh snow for lighter and faster, or even a mountain bike for extra fun times during the summer.

Right now, I have too many bikes, for doing too many things, and frankly, I could just have an extra wheelset and cover it, but they 1) work well and 2) were acquired for low prices and 3) would sell for low prices as well. The studded, 26er, rigid mtb is the epitome of that approach in that, well, it was $25 at a university bike sale, and purpose built it to be a winter bike. It has studded tires, cantilever brakes with tons of clearance for muck, is fully rigid and single speed for low maintenance in the winter. Fewer parts for salt, mud, muck, and snow to mess up. For a few months out of the year, some of the parts are encased in ice. The fat bike is something that could potentially sell for a good price, but I get use out of it still and for snowy days or when the road is sketchy, there isn't much that it can't do. Now that there are 29er bikes, I might go with a 29+ bike, but I do not know that market currently. The true fat bike does allow me to ride all around and I have done a few races where only fat bikes are allowed. The downside is that I cannot put it on a bus, but other than that, I can bring it on the train no problem.
The fixed gear is my favorite for summer and actually most general commuting...with a front brake. My current fixed gear does not have a front brake and that makes me not want to ride it as much.
The raleigh could replace that bike if I converted it...which I might do this afternoon.

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